I keep coming across news about the solar car ‘World Solar Challenge’ where you enter in a 3000 km race where the car is totally solar powered.
The cars at the moment will never (or at least in my life time) go in to mass production as they are not good enough in anyway but the concept of a solar powered car is something that may start hitting the streets.
At the moment we of course have the fully electric cars such as the Nissan Leaf and of course hybrid cars and it’s getting to the point that most of the main car makers are trying to get in to this market area. What you don’t see and I really don’t know why is a fully electric car with built in solar panels to charge the batteries.
I know Toyota have the hybrid car the prius and a optional extra is a solar panel roof which will help run the air conditioning unit for the car so the question is why are the ‘all’ electric cars not actually running solar panels to help recharge the batteries?
There seems to be a few cars that do seem to be adopting ‘build in solar panel’ for the car but I would of thought this would of been high on the list for the new green cars.
To me having build in solar panels on all electric cars would make some sense, I would not expect the solar panels to keep the batteries fully charged but surely it would help them to gain a little extra charge. It should, in theory, give the all electric cars a slightly better range (although depending on solar panel size it might not be very far) but it would also help with charging times and cost by reducing both of these.
Perhaps in the near future when the solar panels and batteries get better they might be a little more common as lets face it, they should go hand in hand!